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12 Apr 2012, 1:26pm


What this Journey Means toYou

Good Morning Tripawds & Tripawd Pawrents/Fans:

When I was running yesterday I was wondering what gave each of you tripawd pawrents strength & courage to go on this journey and felt compelled to share my story with you all in hopes that perhaps others will share their stories as well so I can see what drove each of you to do what you did. For example, I am AMAZED at the story of Spirit Jerry’s pawrents who, from what I understand, sold their material possessions and went on a journey of a lifetime! I wonder what inner force drove them to that decision and gave them such strength!

After I was able to digest Bart’s diagnosis of osteosarcoma, I started to wonder why the Universe had placed us on this path. I had deep, rich faith that there was a reason for this situation and I searched for days – sitting, asking, “Why?” and then trying to listen for an answer.  I remember like it was yesterday sitting quietly on my couch pondering this question for the zillionth time when I saw the word LOVE across the inside of my mid-section in beautiful colors in capital letters. I thought, I am going crazy, I must be wanting to see something and this can’t be for real because the letters were as clear then as they are on this computer screen (but much prettier and vibrant).  So, in true human fashion, I dismissed this experience and chalked it up to sleep deprivation or something of the sort.

A few days later I was again wondering why Bart & I were chosen to go on this journey and the same beautiful, colorful word LOVE appeared in the same place just as it had before. What in heck did it mean? Of course I loved Bart, with all my heart, but why was THIS the answer to my question, “Why?”  Since it had surfaced for a second time, I took this as the answer and decided to embrace it and this journey with all my heart even though I did not understand what it meant. I still don’t fully understand why that was the answer, but it does enable me to move forward and experience unbridled Love of Bart and those around me in a much less guarded fashion. Even as I write this experience down today, four years later, I believe that I have not yet recevied the complete lesson I am meant to learn but I know that if Love has something to do with it, I am ready to accept these teachings even if they are in a form that has great difficulties.

I would love to hear of the experiences of all you Tripawd Pawrents because even though our Tripawds are amazing, I have a feeling that there are some pretty amazing humans on board this journey as well.  

Darcy & Bart

I think all of us question the “why’s” of our cancer journey. Why me, why my dog, why is this happening again, etc. Unlike you, I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason — I feel like life is random most of the time; you just get the luck of the draw. However, I still find valuable lessons in this randomness.

Rio’s lessons for me have been to keep moving forward, keep getting up every time I get knocked backwards, and keep facing the struggles of the future when I’m tired of the battle and I want to give up. Her legacy has been one of uncompromising resilience, unquestioning loyalty and unconditional love. I think she also taught me to trust myself. She trusted me wholeheartedly, unwaveringly, even when she was afraid. If I said it was going to be okay, she believed that it would be. If she can trust me that much despite what she went through, I should be able to trust myself, too.

Although the journey was painful, unreservedly excruciating at times, she left me these gifts and for that, I can’t be sorry that we were on this road together.

All our best to you and Bart. He’s one amazing boy!

Rio’s momma, Micki

Very cool. I admire that perspective and what you have done with it and how it moved you forward. I love what you mentioned about trust – Rio trusting you and you trusting yourself. So very true… I thought about that a lot when I was trying to prepare myself mentally with how I would handle “the end” and how much Bart, like Rio, has trusted me to make him okay even when it is very scary.

Thanks so very much for sharing some thoughts of your journey. I am always interested in how others arrived at where they are.


Darcy, this is a fantastic question. May we borrow this idea for our News blog? I think it will generate a lot of responses if we point people here.

Not everyone is cut out for coping with the cancer journey. Of those who think they might be, I believe they are drawn to Tripawds because they can see that they will not be alone should they choose to walk this path. Nobody will say you’re crazy or that you’re over the top. We all “get it” when it comes to our deep appreciation for all that our dogs teach us.

When I was diagnosed, my pawrents were angry and confused at first. But when they stopped to talk about it, and listen to their hearts as you did, they suddenly realized that life was moving way too fast, and we would miss out on so much of our life if they didn’t do something to slow down. Our family had been through several tragedies and my short prognosis was a final wakeup call to stop and appreciate the wisdom of Dog.

During our journey, my folks were able to slow down enough to begin their respective searches for spirituality and meaning in the world. They’re still looking for answers like many folks, but what they do know is the cancer journey has made them much more appreciative of the beauty, love and treasures that are within our grasp, every moment of our existence. Today, they are much happier knowing that they have the ability within themselves to appreciate these gifts NOW, no matter what life will bring.

And for that, we are thankful in a very weird way, for hopping down that cancer journey.

Oh, forgot to subscribe. Drop me a line and let me know if we may borrow your question for the blog. Thanks!

I would love for this question to be posed to the blog – it is so very interesting to hear others’ perspectives during this very (to me) personal and amazing journey! Can’t wait to read more about it!
Darcy & Bart

my first tripawd (yes, I have had two – same breed, same sex, same leg) brought with her the question “why” as well, but not about cancer.
I was in the meiddle of a avery traumatic divorce that had left me asking “why” is this happening to me. I had lost both of my beautiful vizslas in the divorce and was feeling pretty sorry for myself.
I was lying in bed, listening to an early morning news program in Toronto, when I heard the host discussing a dog for adoption, a 4-5 year old Hungarian vizsla with a paralyzed front left leg. She had been found in a ditch with severe injuries and they were unsure if she had been hit by a car or beaten and thrown from a car. She required an amputation and they were searching for a forever home for her. I called immediately…not sure “why” I did it, I could barley face life myself at that point. I arranged an interview, told them I was familiar with the breed, was a nurse and could manage the post-op care. Two weeks later, MILLIE came home with me to await surgery on February 14th.
All of a sudden, my self absorbed thoughts were gone and I knew Millie needed me…and I needed her!! People use to say, “it was so nice of you to rescue that dog”, I always responded, “we rescued each other”
Next question, “where were we going to live”? I was staying in a condo that did not allow pets. Everyone asked, “why” would you get a dog when you can’t live in your condo with pets”? Didn’t care…we moved!!
The next 11 years were filled with constant amazement as I watched Millie LOVE life, inspire people, charm people, explore, succeed at everything she did and fill my life with love. She came to work with me almost everyday as a pet therapy dog with veterans, she inspired a little girl with one arm on our street to take chances and try anything and she was with me when we both fell in love with my new husband John.
We left Toronto, moved to Newfoundland and had many more great adventures. Millie was a true water dog who adored the ocean and now lies on a beautiful hill overlooking the ocean she loved…we hear her and see her in every wave that crashes into shore.
My question is “why not”??

So, now I have Miss Ziva – tripawd number two. I did not hesitate one minute when I talked to Martha Lacko about her newest pup from a liter of six, born with a deformed paw that would require amputation. I knew Millie had lined up the stars to bring us together and fill our lives with the love of another fabulous three-legged Vizsla!! She became the perfect companion for Gunner, our other “special” vizsla (Gunner has some cognitive loss) and we adore them both.


What a great story about Millie!! I never knew her history – wow! What an adventure for both of you – thank goodness you found each other!!

Of course I know all about the Lovely Miss Ziva and Gunner and love them both!

I guess it might not be a question of “Why?” or even “Why Not?” but instead be a statement of THANK GOD THIS HAPPENED TO ME!! I have said time and time again that Bart’s cancer has been the most wonderful terrible thing I have gone through. Thank God it happened to me!!!

hugs & wiggles to you, John, Ziva & Gunner!

Darcy & Bart


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Bart – an extraordinary Vizsla is brought to you by Tripawds.